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Sweet Home Chicago

2011convlogoFor Immediate Release: August 10, 2011

Experience the sights and sounds of Chicago while connecting with peers during the NFDA International Convention & Expo.

Brookfield, Wis. – Those who attend the National Funeral Directors Association's (NFDA) 2011 International Convention & Expo, October 23-26 in Chicago, Ill., can participate in exclusive social and networking events that will allow them to connect with colleagues while exploring Chicago's rich history and vibrant culture. The NFDA Convention is being held in conjunction with the Cremation Association of North America (CANA).

Give Back to the Chicago and Your Profession

Building on the successes of the Orlando, Boston and New Orleans builds, NFDA is again working with Habitat for Humanity to give back to Chicago. Volunteers will gather on Saturday, October 22 to give a piece of the American dream to a family in need.

The 2011 Funeral Service Foundation Golf Classic will take place Sunday, October 23 at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club, Lemont, Ill. Ruffled Feathers has been hailed as one of the country's best new courses by Golf Digest and Golfweek. Participation in the Golf Classic will help the Funeral Service Foundation further its efforts to attract, retain and educate funeral service professionals; promote the value of the deathcare profession to the public; provide scholarships to mortuary science students and professionals; and support children's grief programs.

The annual Motorcycle Ride, which is being co-hosted Homesteaders Life Company and the Trocar Bikers, will take place Sunday, October 23. After picking up an iron horse at Chicago Harley, riders will head north to Milwaukee, Wis., the birthplace of Harley-Davidson. There, they will tour the new Harley-Davidson Museum, which houses more than 450 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts, including the very first Harley-Davidson to roll off the production line. A portion of the registration fee includes a donation to the Funeral Service Foundation.

Get Social

Join President-elect Randy Earl and wife Evelyn for an unforgettable night of fun in Chicago. The NFDA Juke Joint Blues – President-elect Party will take place Sunday, October 23 at the House of Blues Chicago. Meet up with old friends (and make new ones), sip a cocktail or two, nibble on tasty appetizers and boogie the night away to the Motown-inspired blues/jazz music of Chicago. There is no charge to attend this event.

The All-Star Recognition Ceremony & Reception on October 24 will give attendees an opportunity to recognize their colleagues who strive for excellence every day: 2011 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence® Award recipients; individuals who have earned their Certified Preplanning Consultant designation from NFDA; those who have earned their Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) designation from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practices; and those who have earned their Crematory Operator Certification from CANA. Jack Springer, CANA's longtime executive director, will be recognized for his years of service and dedication. Special guest speaker Patrick Hallinan, superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, will share his experiences serving the families of our nation's heroes. There is no charge to attend this event.

On Monday, October 24, the "Under 40s" will meet up for a night out in Chi Town. Attendees of the Funeral Directors Under 40 Party will hop on a trolley, grab a cocktail and enjoy a tour the Windy City's hippest neighborhoods. They will be dropped off at the Public House on State Street; after that, the rest of Chicago's night life awaits.

Those who use "friend" as a verb, track their tweets or know what it means to link-up on LinkedIn will want to attend the Friends of Facebook Party on Tuesday, October 25. Many funeral service professionals are connected with NFDA and each other on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This is their chance to grab a cocktail, meet in-person and enjoy offline conversations.

As they say in Ireland, Fáilte roimh an páirtí (Welcome to the party)! Join Pat and Mary Callaghan Lynch in welcoming the 2012 NFDA Executive Board during the Closing Celebration on Wednesday, October 26. After a cocktail reception and dinner, one of Chicago's premier Irish dance groups will perform. Guests will kick up their heels to the band Gentlemen of Leisure Band, which performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

In addition to the many social events NFDA will be hosting, convention guests can also take part in tours of the city of Chicago.

Up-to-date information about the 2011 NFDA International Convention & Expo can be found by visiting Information about social events and tours can be found by clicking on the "Activities/Tours" tab.

NFDA is generously supported by Federated Insurance Company, Batesville Casket Company, Facultatieve Technologies, Frazer Consultants, Madelyn Company, Matthews International, Memories by Design, Nomis Publications, American Crematory Equipment, American Funeral Financial, Deaton-Kennedy Company, Director's Select Retirement Plan (DSRP), Doric Products Inc., Funeral Call, Homesteaders Life Company and Messenger.

NFDA is the world's leading funeral service association, serving 18,500 individual members who represent more than 9,900 funeral homes in the United States and 43 countries around the world. From its headquarters in Brookfield, Wis., and its Advocacy Division office in Washington, D.C., NFDA is the worldwide source of expertise and professional resources for all facets of funeral service. Through education, information and advocacy, NFDA is dedicated to supporting members in their mission to provide families with meaningful end-of-life services at the highest levels of excellence and integrity. For more information, visit

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Media Contact: Jessica Koth, 262-814-1536,